Alexander Julian’s “True Blue” University of North Carolina Graduation Gowns Are Made From Recycled Plastic Bottles

Alexander Julian, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, recycled PET, recycled plastic bottles, recycled polyester, graduation gowns, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style

Hats off to fashion designer and award-winning colorist Alexander Julian for his eco-makeover of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s graduation gowns, set to debut March 17 in time for commencement. As a UNC alumnus, Chapel Hill native, and father whose son is graduating from the college in May, Julian had a vested interest in redesigning the gowns, not only to make them true “Carolina blue” but also green. The updated frocks, developed in cooperation with Oak Hall Cap & Gown, are sewn in Virginia using 100 percent recycled polyester from a local mill. Roughly 23 post-consumer recycled plastic bottles go into the making of a single gown, a factoid that is printed directly on the garment rather than a separate label.

Alexander Julian, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, recycled PET, recycled plastic bottles, recycled polyester, graduation gowns, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style

POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE

It took numerous attempts, but the master colorist believes he has achieved the perfect shade of blue to represent his alma mater. Julian also added a bit of pizazz to the graduation garb: two white panels in front, and white piping along the yoke.

The updated frocks are sewn in Virginia using 100 percent recycled polyester from a local mill.

Additionally, Julian tailored the notoriously unflattering robe by removing one of the pleats for a better fit. The designer is leaving his style-savvy mark all over the campus—he’s also responsible for adding argyle to the Tar Heels’ basketball uniform. We hope other universities follow suit by replacing these mandatory, one-time-wear garments with responsibly made green gowns.

+ Press Release

+ Alexander Julian

+ University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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